Erin's Ring Paperback – November 24, 2014
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"Truly a wonderful story for all ages! A quest to find the owner of a tarnished, golden Claddagh ring found in Saint Mary's churchyard, by thirteen-year-old Molly McCormick, begins an exciting journey through the annals of Dover, New Hampshire history for Molly and her new found friend Theresa Grant. I highly recommend Erin's Ring to all readers who love a great tale that will lift their spirit. The glossary of English and Irish Terms, which makes it a great novel for classroom teachers and students of history." Rosemary McDunn, author of The Green Coat, A Tale from the Dust Bowl Years
"From the Nineteenth to the late Twentieth Century, Erin's Ring offers an engaging contemporary and historical perspective on faith. Teenagers and adults alike will relate to the intertwined stories of young women navigating challenges in their family relationships, love interests, and Catholic faith. This is a book that will bring joy and hope to all readers!" Tiffany Walsh, blogger at Life of a Catholic Librarian
"Laura Pearl brings vivid detail to the lives of young Catholics in two different eras, highlighting the history of the Irish Catholics who brought the faith to Dover, New Hampshire, and illustrating the Friendship, Love, and Loyalty symbolized by a very special Claddagh ring that bridges the generations." --Amy M. Bennett, author of the Black Horse Campground mysteries
"Erin's Ring was especially enjoyable reading for me, being a descendant of "tenacious Irish immigrants." Laura Pearl's story of "Faith, Family, and Friends" weaves a narrative of girls from different generations, but with the same Irish Catholic backgrounds and values." Kay Murdy founder and coordinator of the Catholic Bible Institute co-sponsored by the Los Angeles Archdiocese and Loyola Marymount University. Kay's latest book is Song of the Dove
From the Back Cover
When thirteen-year-old Molly McCormick, who has recently moved from the Midwest to Dover, New Hampshire, finds an old Irish Claddagh ring poking up out of the dirt in a garden outside her local parish church, she is immediately intrigued. The ring's inscription, "To Erin--Love, Michael", fills her head with romantic possibilities. She teams up with her new friend, Theresa Grant, to uncover the story behind the lost ring. With the help of the head librarian at the public library, the two girls become immersed in the rich history of the Irish immigrants who came to Dover in droves during the 19th century, to escape famine and poverty in their homeland and make better lives for their children and grandchildren.
Molly and Theresa learn about the courage, tenacity, and deep faith that were the hallmarks of the Irish immigrants--people with names like Ann and Seamus, Cara and Finn, and of course, Erin and Michael. The young girls eagerly delve into old records tucked away in the dark corners of the library and learn how instrumental Dover's Irish-Catholics were in getting the first Catholic church built in their New England town.
Molly and Theresa set out to discover the origins of the mysterious ring, but they unearth a story that is far stranger and infinitely more touching than anything they could have ever imagined.
- Publisher : Bezalel Books (November 24, 2014)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 192 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1936453290
- ISBN-13 : 978-1936453290
- Item Weight : 8 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.51 x 0.41 x 8.5 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,899,482 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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In one part of this book, Ann and Moira join with other immigrants to protest the lack of a Catholic church and the mill responds. I was delighted to find that this part of this story really happened. A few other parts are based on history as well.
Although I enjoyed this well-written tale as an adult, I could definitely imagine using it in a high school or middle school literature class. There is enough spice to keep it lively without embarrassing the readers. It was refreshing to see typical Catholic routines intermingled with the events in the story, and interesting to see how fallen away Catholics and non-Catholics interacted with the practitioners of the story. I highly recommend this book.
It begins when Molly – a modern day middle school girl, finds an engraved ring at her church. When she discovers it’s a traditional Irish ring, she decides to research the town’s rich Irish history for a school project. As she delves into her research, we are drawn into the world of the Irish immigrants that fled from Ireland during the Potato famine to find a better life here in America.
This is a fascinating look into the struggles of the Irish Catholic immigrants – many of which were single young men and women who came over to work and sent money back to their families.
The historical parts were quite interesting and thought-provoking and the storyline in the modern day chapters was very touching as well. I really wonderful story about the importance of family, friendship, and faith.
I enjoyed Erin’s Ring for three main reasons: It was well constructed and written, it possessed a richness of history and humanity rarely expressed so well, and it depicted a story of enduring love and courageous faith.
It opens with Molly McCormick, the eldest of six (soon seven) siblings. In finding someone’s lost Claddagh ring, the story begins to unfold. In trying to find the owner, Molly befriends Theresa and both of them together search for the story of the ring, which through the inscription they know belongs to someone named Erin. While seeking the history and ownership of the lost ring, the two friends uncover the Irish history of Dover, New Hampshire. Presently, the reader is drawn into another story of an Irish immigrant coming to Dover from Ireland many years before.
Ann, leaving her family to find work in the land of prosperity, comes to Dover to work in the weaving factory that then was the dominating business of the town. Her faith guides her as she struggles against the hardships and rigors of working long hours at a grueling job to support herself and her family, while longing for a Catholic church to provide for her spiritual needs. Ann settles into her life and soon meets a young man. On a snowy winter night, Seamus Finnegan asks her to marry him and gives her a beautiful Claddagh ring from Ireland. They are married and embark on what they hope to be a joy-filled life together.
However, life is fraught with tragedies and struggles for Ann. Her first child dies and later her beloved Seamus also leaves this world. Ann’s courage and steadfastness endures, however.
The story continues and we see glimpses of Ann’s daughter’s life; then her daughter’s—Erin’s life. Erin, although an ardent Catholic like her mother and grandmother, falls deeply in love with a Protestant. Both Michael (her lover) and Erin’s family strongly disapprove of the arrangement and discourage it.
But on a night after a dance, Erin and Michael decide to elope; hoping that when they return their families would accept their marriage. However, an event intervenes, and the couple never fullfils their plans. Many years later, when Molly McCormick leads the way into church on Sunday she finds it the Claddagh ring Michael meant to propose to Erin with.
The ring is what brings her and her friend together. And indirectly, the ring furthermore brings Theresa back to the Church after longs years of deserting her spiritual life following the death of her little brother and her parent’s breakup.
We are carried in Erin’s Ring back between the centuries in Dover, New Hampshire. We see Dover when the women at the factory make one of the first women’s strikes in the country, struggling for better working conditions, and when the Irish Catholics persevere in a struggle for a church of their own.
Through the different stories and generations, we see the endurance of faith in the Irish Catholics, their steadfast resilience after innumerable struggles. And by reading about them, we find we ourselves are inspired to do likewise.
I would give this book a 4.5 rating. It definitely deserves it.